How do you Spell “Hypocrite?” B-A-P-T-I-S-T

There was an excellent editorial in this morning’s Houston Chronicle concerning the still-growing sexual assault scandal at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. For anybody who does not follow college football, for decades the Baylor Bears were a laughingstock, a delicious cupcake for the real teams like UT, A & M, and Oklahoma, who would regularly pound them to the tune of 50-0. Then, praise Jesus, a miracle occurred. St. Art came to Baylor. The formidable head coach Art Briles arrived and soon Baylor was the hottest ticket in college football, running up ridiculous yardage and point totals on their erstwhile betters. Teams that had formerly blasted the hapless Bears while hardly breaking a sweat now watched in both horror and awe as green-clad and golden-helmed receivers scored one seemingly effortless touchdown after another. Blessed assurance; Art Briles was theirs. Football redemption was achieved.

Then the news about the sexual assaults broke. Seventeen women reported sexual or domestic violence cases involving nineteen Baylor athletes, most of them football players. That was just the beginning. Lawsuits have been filed by over a dozen former students—and counting. Patty Crawford, the former Title IX coordinator at Baylor reported to “Sixty Minutes Sports” that hundreds of students came to her with complaints of sexual assault in less than two years, but that, in the words of the Chronicle editorial:

“…the university chose to look the other way because football players were involved. The “Sixty Minutes Sports” investigation uncovered a culture that punished victims who came forward by accusing them of violating the university’s code of conduct which prohibits drinking and premarital sex. In other words, male athletes wearing gold BU letters and at least 17 young women threatened with letters of scarlet represented dueling religions on the Baylor Campus. Football and fundamentalist Christianity. Football won.”

That’s right. The gutless hypocrites who run Baylor did not enforce the code against athletes, but used it as a club to intimidate the victims of the assaults, whom they blamed for the scandals.

Yes, Baylor is a Southern Baptist institution. You know, Baptists: The ones who have so actively supported abstinence-only “sex ed” programs in the public schools. The ones who say that in marriage a man should be a humble, loving “servant leader,” whose respect for his spouse is boundless. You know, the ones who even thought that dancing was improper. The ones who endlessly and piously scolded the rest of us for our sexual laxity and moral flaccidness. Now we see that the One True God of the Baptists is not worshiped on Sundays in a building with an altar, steeple, and pews, but on Saturdays, in that Holy of Holies, the football stadium.

I hope the plaintiffs in the lawsuits win multiple millions. Big, big punitive damages. I hope that the Baylor football program will soon resume the doormat status it so richly deserves. “Whoever is playing Baylor” should immediately become a favorite team for any college football fan with a sense of decency.